By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) completed the first round of conceptual review for the construction of a primary structure at 854 Jasper Street, Madison.

Following the procedure for the conceptual review of new constructions, the HPC gave the applicant, Weldon Crook, their first impressions of his plans. Crook will return to the HPC in February for a second round of review, when the HPC will make a decision on the plans.

HPC Consultant Ken Kocher stated that the 2,000 square foot home will be constructed in the Georgian Cottage style, will use architectural shingles for the roofing material, and include a 20-foot by 22-foot gable garage.

A 16-foot wide concrete drive will lead to the garage The HPC asked that Crook construct the foundation of the front concrete porch give the appearance of brick piers, which could be created by constructing a one-inch brick recessed infill beneath the columns.

HPC Member Chris McCauley asked that Crook use manufactured simulated divided light (SDL) windows instead of creating them on-site with glued-on muntins, because the precedent set by allowing on-site SDL windows may, in the future, allow for less-than-desirable adhesion techniques to be used.

If the muntins are not attached appropriately, their placement is likely to shift or they are liable to fall off completely. Crook’s plans indicated that a fence would be constructed on the right side of the property leading into the front yard in order to create a blind between the proposed construction and the railroad.

Typically, the HPC does not allow fences to extend in front of the primary structure, but the commission indicated that they would make an exception, considering that the structure will be at the end of a dead-end street and will be bordering the rail line.

During the review process, Crook was especially accommodating to the wishes of the HPC. “Whatever is appropriate,” said Crook. “If I know from the get-go what I’ve got to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Crook also indicated that the visual appearance of the construction will be paramount during the process. “Curb appeal, to me, is the most important thing that you can do,” continued Crook. The HPC unanimously approved the partial enclosure of a rear porch at 542 North Main Street for Stan and Kaye DeJarnett.

Because the porch to be enclosed was constructed in 1996, the enclosure of the porch will not change the historic nature of the building, stated Kocher. Kocher also indicated that the DeJarnetts intend to use matching materials for the enclosure to create a continuity of style and that there will be no changes in the roof.

The HPC also elected new officers for 2014. HPC Member Steve Schaefer was elected to be chair, and Joe Smith was reinstated as vice chair. Richard Simpson was voted in as secretary.